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The vote on the school referendum plan is just days away. What will this vote mean to our community? How will it impact our students? Why is it needed?

Overall, the Aug. 14 school bond referendum seeks to equip our community with collaborative learning environments and sought-out activity spaces that engage and elevate our students and our community. It focuses on right-sizing our school facilities and equipping us with spaces we need to meet educational needs today and into the future.

Here’s a look at five of the key impacts of the vote on Aug. 14:

1. New Auditorium
Benson Schools had to close the auditorium in May 2017 after the ceiling collapsed on the 1928 building. In the past year, there have been over 100 requests for uses for an auditorium. A new 600-seat auditorium would provide enhanced experiences for our students and the community with dedicated performing arts space for concerts, theater and dance performances. It would significantly improve accessibility to make it easy and more inviting for all to attend. The auditorium would be available for community use and be a place that brings our community together and draws others to Benson.

2. Added Security
School safety remains in the national headlines and a top priority for Benson Public Schools. This plan creates new secured entrances at both the elementary and high school buildings to give our students and families added peace of mind. The offices for Community Education, activities, school resource officer and the high school also will move next to the new main entrance for convenient access by parents and community members.

3. Combined Preschool-5th Grade Building
This plan meets the community’s request to move 5th grade students to the elementary school in a dedicated building that will serve our community’s earliest learners through 5th graders.

4. New Early Learning Center
In the past four years, Benson Schools has grown to serve 87 percent of local 4-year-olds and engages children from birth to equip them in the critical early years and prepare them for success in school. The new early learning center would be added on to Northside Elementary to more efficiently meet the needs of the community’s earliest learners in a safe and dedicated space that provides a smooth transition to kindergarten.

5. Collaborative Learning Environments
Benson Public Schools offers the most college level classes and career enrichment activities in the area. Seeking to continue to equip our students for their futures, this plan includes collaborative learning spaces for grades 7-12. In these spaces, students will experience more hands-on activities where they can work together to problem solve, seek new information and become the critical thinkers the modern-day workforce needs.

A special thanks to each of the 45 members of the Community Task Force who volunteered hours to evaluate our district’s learning and facility needs, discover what’s working in other schools and develop a plan to meet the community’s vision.

\Click to learn more about the process, the plan and the impact. Vote on Aug. 14.

Posted by Guest  On Aug 09, 2018 at 3:56 PM
Benson Public Schools is asking the community to vote on a school referendum on Aug. 14 as a part of the primary election. Some voters, particularly those living in area townships, will receive ballots in the mail from the county. If you receive a mailed ballot, complete it and mail it back to the county.

Other voters can cast their vote at their polling location on Aug. 14 or by visiting the their county election office any time during regular business hours before Aug. 14. Click to find your county election office.

Anyone can vote absentee before Aug. 14 and it's easy to register to vote on the spot.

Here's a look at how you will vote based on where you live:

Swift County

Benson Armory:

Benson P-1

Benson P-2

Benson Twp.

Torning Twp.

DeGraff City Office:


Kildare Twp.

West Bank Town Hall:

West Bank Twp.

Mailed Ballot:
(Mailed on July 10)

Camp Lake Twp.

Cashel Twp.


Clontarf Twp.


Dublin Twp.

Kerkhoven Twp.

Marysland Twp.

Six Mile Grove Twp.

Swenoda Twp.

Tara Twp.

Pope County

Hoff Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed July 16)

Langhei Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed July 16)

Rolling Forks Twp. - Precinct

Chippewa County

Mandt Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed around July 25)

Grace Twp. - Mail Ballot (Mailed around July 25)

Register to Vote
Are you registered to vote? Click to check your status online.

Click to register to vote today.

Vote Absentee
Voters also can vote early by mail by applying for an absentee ballot from the Minnesota Secretary of State. Ballots will be sent starting June 29 for the Aug. 14 Primary Election. Ballots will not be counted if they are received after Aug. 14. Click to request an absentee ballot.

Preparing to Vote
Voters can begin preparing for the vote by viewing the sample ballot and learning more about the plans. Attend an upcoming information meeting on July 18 and Aug. 7 and get your questions answered.

Click to view a sample ballot.

Click to learn more about the referendum plans.
Posted by Guest  On Aug 08, 2018 at 2:13 PM
Click to view the details of this long post: more» 
Posted by Guest  On Aug 08, 2018 at 8:01 AM

In case you missed it, here's a look at coverage of the 2018 bond referendum in the local media. Click on the headlines to view the articles.

$26 Million Referendum in Benson School District
August 1, 2018 - West Central Tribune

"With low interest rates and the new state tax credit that will reduce the financial burden for agricultural land affected by school capital bonding, Laumeyer said the timing could be right to gain approval."

Remember Who the School Building is About
July 17, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record (Editorial)

"The plan before voters was developed by fellow citizens who studied in-depth the needs of our students, community, and businesses. They looked hard at the costs and options. The plan before us is the best set of proposals for meeting the needs of our children and community. To delay action further would not only be an abandonment of our responsibility to those children but also to our business community."

Description of Proposed School Construction Project
July 17, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record

"Benson Public Schools, lSD #777, is proposing a bond referendum on August 14,  2018, that would authorize $26.3 million in bonding authority to finance facility improvements at the elementary and middle/high school attendance centers." 

Many Show Up to Hear School Building Proposal
June 29, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record

"More than 70 people attended the first meeting sponsored by Benson Public Schools to inform the public about the purpose of the proposed $26.3 million building levy referendum to be voted on Aug. 14."

Building a Better Future for Our Children
June 28, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record

"We have no children or grandchildren in the Benson schools. But that is not what we base our decision on to wholeheartedly support this referendum. We back this referendum because it is our turn to support the future of the community’s children. It is our turn to support the needs of the businesses of the community. It is our turn to support the needs of our faculty to have modern, quality facilities in which to teach our children."

Benson School Levy Should Be Our Focus
April 18, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record

"Benson Public Schools is studying options for addressing building maintenance needs as well as essential facility upgrades that could cost between $20 and $29 million. It has brought three citizen groups together to give it input on the most critical building needs."

School Board Pleased with Citizen Input on Buildings
Feb. 9, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record

"All the (community) groups agreed that it is imperative that the district’s buildings be very attractive and “vibrant.” For people to notice change there has to be a change they can drive up to and see."

School Board Seeks Citizen Input on Referendum
January 12, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record

"The Benson school board is seeking volunteers to serve on a school committee to analyze the school facilities. Each committee will work independently with the school architect and superintendent to analyze the current facilities and make a facilities improvement recommendation to the board. This is a grassroots effort where the community will help shape the direction of the district facilities by assisting the school board."

School Could Set Levy for May

January 5, 2018 - Swift County Monitor Record

"Benson Public Schools could be going to the voters in May asking them to support a levy referendum for basic maintenance and upgrading of district buildings. Just what the projects would be and what they would cost has to be decided yet. School board members are going to rely on input from a cross-section of district citizens for direction on the scope of a building renovation project. Those citizens will be brought together for several meetings, given a tour of facilities, told what problems each has and the challenges the problems present."


Posted by Guest  On Aug 02, 2018 at 10:25 AM
Benson Public Schools is equipping students in new ways to ensure they are ready for the next step and their future careers. In the past three years alone, Benson students earned over 2,000 college credits for free while still in high school. That has saved local families nearly $750,000 in just three years.

This enables students to stay challenged and engaged in learning throughout their high school experience. They get a jumpstart on college from the comforts of home and enter college ready to explore career fields.

Through partnerships with local employers, Benson High School students also have access to a rising number of internships where they can apply what they're learning in the classroom and discover potential career paths, including those that allow them to stay here in Benson. Last year, Benson High doubled the number of internships and hours spent at internships.

"We want our students to see how what they're learning makes a difference and develop passions for their future careers," Superintendent Dennis Laumeyer said. "Our Benson students continue to be eager for new opportunities. They want to work as teams, solve problems and produce something meaningful."

Students have learned everything from welding and using specialized industry software and plasma cutter to designing websites, repairing engines and building furniture. 

A facility plan, developed by a 45-member Community Task Force, includes adding collaborative learning environments at Benson High School designed especially for students, grades 6-12, to work together in small groups to apply their learning and solve problems in a way that capitalizes on one another's skills and resources. The plan will go before voters on Aug. 14.

Posted by Guest  On Aug 08, 2018 at 7:46 AM
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